Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do More of What You Love

Part 2 in my year end thoughts takes us to Michelle.

This last month she made the final decision to retire from The Flower Tree & Red Zinnia to pursue some of her other passions that have been taking a strong hold this last year. She is an amazing watercolor artist, and many of you may have seen a few of her paintings on display in the artists gallery hallway at Red Zinnia. I have quite a few hanging in my own house also. I think she always knew she had the talent, but it wasn't until she decided to take a class at the community college two years ago that everything seemed to fall into place. Now she will not only have the time to devote her energy to this creative path, but along with that, she is going to raise chickens!! That's right, RAISE CHICKENS!! When we were at the Chicago show this last August we encountered a booth that sold chicken coops. Every time I would venture down the aisle a little bit, I would have to turn around and go back to see where Michelle was, still at the chicken coop booth.............I would go a little further, turn around, go back............there she was, still at the chicken coop booth.............and again the next day, "Let me just take a look at it one more time.." Seems she was taking pictures, talking to the owners, and trying to figure out just how she was going to build her own when she got back home. That is - once she figured out if legally she could have a chicken coop withing city limits. Well, it turns out she can, and so it looks like I might get some fresh eggs next spring and summer.

So follow your passion, do more of what you love. Whether it is painting with watercolors, raising chickens, or my own goals, to write more....just see where they lead you. Who knows, maybe I will see watercolor paintings of chickens on the walls of Red Zinnia someday....hmmmmmmm

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End of the year wrap-up

Every year at this time the paper and magazines seem to be filled with "how-to" articles that are supposed to make life easier. Business tips on taxes, filing tips for office control, exercise tips to get you up off the couch, and yes, gardening tips to get ready for next spring. This year I decided to start ripping the articles out of the paper a few weeks ago when I felt they may have some useful tips for me, and stash them on the side table by my morning chair. They are starting to stack up a little so I thought I would go through a few of them this morning and see if they still need to stay in my pile.

1. Clean out the clutter: OK, this one can certainly pertain to many areas of my life. It was written in the home section of the paper, but it really seems to have a more powerful meaning, at least to me, when I apply it to my thoughts. Mental Clutter - all those thoughts that sit there on a daily basis and are either, unwanted, unneeded, or just plain troublesome. I realized the other day, after an extremely lengthy - and insightful - discussion with my husband, that I seem to put way to much stock into words that are just "tossed out there", and don't really have an meaning other than taking up space in the wind. Do I really NEED to worry about whether the seed racks are going to fit along the wall this year, or in the middle of the aisle or, if the dogs need their booster shots 6 months from now, or should I give maybe 2 seconds thought to it, then throw it in the "thoughtcan", my new word that will help me visualize throwing the thought away.

Tomorrow: Do more of what you love, and less of what you feel obligated to do.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunny and Wonderful

(This post was written back on December 12th, but I forgot to post it. Since they are calling for snow-snow-snow, and ultra cold weather this weekend, thought it would be nice to remind myself, and my fellow gardeners, that sunny days do happen - even in winter.)

December 12, 2010: Today was one of those amazing December days in Nevada. The sun was shining extra bright, there was no winds and it was 60 degrees!! in December!!! I was fortunate to have the day to putter in my own garden. Started with raking up the thousands of leaves that still seemed to cling to the cottonwoods, and then noticed that I had bags and bags of bulbs still to be planted. After tucking tulips into every spare space of soil around the roses in the front beds, and then continuing around to the side yard, I noticed I hadn't cleaned out the large pot that sits in my morning area. I grabbed the soil scoop - has a better tool ever been invented - and started digging out the annual grasses and flowers that had been so lovely all summer. Dug out a bunch of the soil and piled it around some perennials that I had planted just a month ago, and then started layering the bulbs into the pot. Then I moved another pot over, and another pot, and another pot. Soon I had quite the arrangement going. Can't wait to see it in the spring, filled with color and the early promise of what's to come.
(Chopper always loves to help)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Harriet's Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the store,
Not a creature was stirring,
No one came through the door.

Harriet was safely sleeping,
On her bed on the floor,
When outside in the trees
She heard quite the roar.

She ran round the table,
And put her face to the glass.............
To see what could be causing
This loud sounding crash.

"It's just us", we say,
As we open the door
We've coming bearing gifts,
Catnip, treats and toys galore!

We picked up sweet Harriet
And cuddled her well,
Filled her food and water
And pulled out her new bell.

We left with a smile
Harriet's blanket tucked tight,
Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a good night.
Merry Christmas from our family , including Harriet, to yours. May the season bring you good health and happiness. We look forward to seeing you in the years ahead. Susan

Monday, December 20, 2010

And the CAPS winner is.......

With Harriet assisting, the winning ticket was drawn for this seasons raffle. And the winner is Theresa Bennett. She will be taking home a beautiful Colorado Blue Spruce.

We sold $118.00 worth of tickets for this crucial organization.If you would like to make a donation, or see what their work is all about, or....find your next Forever Friend, click here:

Thank you to all who bought tickets. We will be announcing our next Spring raffle in a few weeks. Always a favorite, we will be picking out an outstanding flowering crab apple, perfect tree for our area.
(pic: Rose trying to contain Harriet's enthusiasm)Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 17, 2010

Welcome to the world Carson

Born Friday, December 17th, 4:43 a.m. to Sara, Travis & big brother, Cash
Welcome to the world Carson Robert Thompson. From your extremely ecstatic Nana & Papa!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Family Day @ The Flower Tree

Today was Family Day at the Flower Tree, and we had a wonderful time making pine cone birdfeeders, yule logs, center pieces and smiles. Frosty was kept busy most of the day posing and the kids loved the reading hour with Eleanor and Donna. A huge thank you to Bob Macdonald for taking these pictures for us. It was a great day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Off to gather pine cones....

This last weekend Bob and I grabbed the chance to get away for a night and the truck took us in the direction of Susanville, Ca.. I have been wanting to see my friend Melissa's nursery, Every Bloomin' Thing, all dressed up in its holiday finery and we were able to combine that with a pine cone gathering afternoon. This Saturday, the 11th, is our Family Day at the Flower Tree, and one of the free workshops we offer is pine cone bird feeders for kids of all ages. We arrived at her place late in the evening, and she greeted us with a huge bonfire and a hot drink. The next morning we packed a bit of food and set out for Eagle Lake, with the summit being our destination to cut greenery that we needed for the yule log and porch arrangement workshops that Michelle will also be doing on Saturday.

With the snow glistening off the branches and the sun barely peeking out between the trees we gathered heavily scented cedar fresh with berries, noble fir, sugar cone pine boughs and pine cones. The snow was pretty heavy in parts and being the Florida girl I am, the backseat was the right placement for me. I gazed out the side window and took in all the beauty rather than worry about the slick road down the mountain pass. Well, maybe I worried a little. We arrived back at Melissa's nursery just in time for her to teach her wreath making class. With 14 in attendance, it was a lively and fun afternoon and I made a wreath for myself, as well as a YouTube video of one of her porch decorations. Our first experiment at this, we are going to work on adding lots of videos to our website.

It is always amazing to me that just taking a short overnight trip can fill you with a sense of peace, relaxation and wellness. As Bob said on the way home, "We might just need to do this a little more often."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A few views from Red Zinnia

I got to play at Red Zinnia today. I haven't worked there for quite a while, most of my days are still spent at The Flower Tree, so it was so fun to see all the new things that have come in for the holidays. Lucia has worked her absolute wonders once again with the displays, and Jaime and Bob's selections on the wine and beer are fabulous. Our shop is overflowing with wonderful finds, RIGHT HERE IN LITTLE OLE FALLON!

A fun favorite, Shakespearean Insults Mug

New for this season, Dewey, our favorite library cat is back for another adventure.

New Brie Bakers, now in stainless steel, Yummm Yummmm

Pick a passport, and send that favorite person on your list on a little vacation.

In the brew room, a great selection of brew books for the man in your life, or women.

Always changing, our favorites are highlighted.

tap - tap - tap .....there's no place like home, there's no place like home....

travel the world ...........

Warm, comfy, soft, inviting.......

Have a seat, we would love for you to join us .....

don't ask, just cook!

perfect little notes to tuck in a stocking....

of course we have wonderful children's books........for the grandkids!

99 bottles of beer on the wall.....99 bottles of beer..........AND MORE!

Votivo, Icy Blue new favorite holiday candle

One of Michelle's new watercolors......stunning and peaceful ....

For the gourmet in your life, Boxed set of Julia Child.....ahhhhhhhhh


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